Independent Colleges of Indiana has recently announced that Associate Dean for the College of Health Sciences and Chair of the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Indianapolis Kate DeCleene Huber is a member of the third cohort of its Leadership Academy.
ICI is an organization that is “the collective voice for excellence and choice in higher education for all students,” and represents 29 private, non-profit, regionally-accredited colleges and universities, according to ICI’s website. UIndy is one of those 29. Some other universities included in the member list are Butler University, Depauw University, Franklin College, Indiana Wesleyan University and the University of Notre Dame.
“And one of the things that ICI is doing and has received support to do is work with individuals that have been identified as future leaders and bring them together for approximately one-year leadership experience, where you learn about all the different dimensions of a [higher education] institution,” Huber said.
ICI was founded in 1948 as the Associated Colleges of Indiana with the intent to serve as a fund-raising organization for Indiana independent colleges, according to their “About” page. According to the ICI, the Leadership Academy, founded in 1970, specializes in the talent development needs of faculty and staff members of private college campuses. The institute selects participants who are identified by their college as someone “whose leadership will be critical to the future of the institution” according to the ICI website.
“The people who are part of the program are from campuses all over the state. They are not all faculty, and from the academic side, there are people from the Student Affairs side [and] from more of the finance side, with a variety of different backgrounds. It helps provide that foundation and expanding knowledge of issues facing higher education,” Huber said.
ICI Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Laura Bridges said that Indiana’s private colleges are leaning into the future and must prepare emerging leaders at every level. Over the course of the year-long program, participants will gain an understanding of their college in a more holistic way “within the context of the state and federal higher education landscape” and are trained to view their institution through multiple lenses, according to ICI.
President and CEO of ICI Kurt D. Dykstra said that the institute is eager to launch its third cohort of the Leadership Academy that will extend an opportunity to even more leaders at its member institutions according to ICI news.
Huber said she hopes that what she gains out of the program will come back and benefit or help UIndy in some way, as many institutions are facing similar challenges across higher education. She said institutions working together on solutions to challenges helps with problem solving, and that the educational component of the institute can help provide a greater depth of knowledge on many different dimensions of campus.
“[The ICI] does an incredible job representing and supporting independent colleges of Indiana, from resources to education, opportunities, because in our case, private colleges sometimes are smaller. But when you bring all 29 independent colleges together, it’s a much greater force …,” Huber said.